Comparison of the clinical effectiveness of a single and a triple-headed toothbrushes in a population of mentally retarded patients

E Sauvetre, A Rozow, H de Meel, A Richebe, M Abi-Khalil, F Demeure


Tooth brushing is a very simple and effective method for removing daily dental deposits and for preventing dental and periodontal diseases. However, it can cause considerable manipulative difficulties among some populations, e.g., young children, physically handicapped and mentally retarded patients. In order to test and compare the efficiency of a newly designed toothbrush (Superbrush® 1 ), we have performed a pilot study on patients staying at the «Reine Fabiola Village N° 1», an institution for patients who are followed for mental retardation at different levels. 30 patients were included in the study, aged between 18 to 40 years. Among these 30, five had to be eliminated for their incapacity to follow the initial training in how to brush their teeth. The comparison was made with a normal single headed tooth brush, in a double blind trial, based on bleeding and plaque indexes, performed on 6 different teeth on day 0,7 and 21. The results of this study indicate that there is no significant difference between the two types of toothbrushes with respect to the ability of plaque removing and gingivitis prevention, during the period of time of this study. However, the easiness of manipulating this newly designed toothbrush renders it a useful tool for the dental hygiene for this special part of the dental compromised population.


dental hygiene; population of mentally retarded; triple-headed toothbrushes

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